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Submitted by anuk on Tue, 05/21/2024 - 09:13
Empire Life First Home Savings Account (FHSA). Read on below or click to find an advisor.
Save for your first home with an Empire Life FHSA
Dreaming of home ownership?
Make it a reality with a First Home Savings Account

Canadians saving for their first home have another option—the First Home Savings Account—a registered plan that provides tax-free savings and withdrawals1 to buy or build your first home2. First-time homebuyers who are qualifying individuals3 can contribute up to $40,000 into an FHSA4.

Who qualifies to open an FHSA?
  • You must be 18 years or older5 to open an FHSA6.
  • You must be a resident of Canada.
  • You must be a first-time home buyer and have not lived in a qualifying home, either fully or jointly owned by you, or your spouse or common-law partner, as your principal place of residence within the year you open your FHSA or in the previous four calendar years.

Once you meet all conditions, you will be considered a qualifying individual.

Benefits of an FHSA—building towards your dream home
$40,000 lifetime contribution limit

lifetime contribution limit

$8,000 annual comtribution limit

annual contribution limit

FHSA can only be open for a maximum of 15 years

an FHSA can remain open7

  • Tax-deductible contributions, similar to an RRSP8.
  • Tax-free savings and investment growth, like an RRSP and TFSA.
  • Similar to a TFSA, withdrawals are tax-free but only if used to purchase a qualifying home.
  • If you don’t contribute the maximum amount in one year, you can carry over your unused contribution room into the next year9.
 

Watch the video for an overview of FHSA benefits 

  • Only you can contribute to your FHSA. However, you can use your FHSA in combination with someone else’s to buy a qualifying home.
  • You can use your FHSA and The Home Buyers' Plan10 from your RRSP towards the purchase of a qualifying first home.
  • If you don’t buy a qualifying home before your maximum FHSA participation period ends, you can transfer your FHSA assets to your RRSP or your RRIF11 on a tax-deferred basis.
Icon representing timing
Timing is the key to success

When do you want to purchase your first home? Consider this date, the annual amount you want to contribute, and how many years you plan to save for. Then work back to determine the date you should open your FHSA—remember you can only keep your FHSA open for 15 years.

Three ways to save for a home

Get your FHSA, TFSA and RRSP Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) working together to help you save for your first home.
Take advantage of the benefits all three programs have to offer:

piggy bank
Max out your FHSA

Truly tax-free if you buy a qualifying home and you don’t have to pay it back, unlike an RRSP HBP.

plant money
Contribute to your TFSA

It doesn’t reduce taxable income, but investment growth and withdrawals are tax-free.

tax document
Consider depositing into your RRSP

For a tax-deferred HBP withdrawal.

You can take advantage of the benefits of three registered plans to build your home savings.

Read these case studies to see how an Empire Life FHSA can help
Amina & Sanjay, a young couple excited to be holding the keys to their first home.

Amina and Sanjay—Maximizing FHSA contributions to help buy a home sooner

Dean, a young man, smiling as he dreams of homeownership.

Dean—Using an FHSA to benefit from tax-free growth

Jessica and Steve hiking on the beach with their two young children.

Jessica—Transferring FHSA assets to an RRSP when homeownership doesn’t happen

When you're ready to buy your first home.

You’ve worked hard to save for your first home and now the time has come! A qualifying withdrawal from your FHSA is tax-free. You can make a single withdrawal or a series of withdrawals, but all the following condition must be met:

  • You must have a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home12.
  • You must not have acquired the qualifying home more than 30 days before making the withdrawal.
  • Work with your advisor to complete the necessary forms (RC725 Request to Make a Qualifying Withdrawal from your FHSA).

If you make a withdrawal from your FHSA and all the conditions are not met, it will be treated as a taxable withdrawal.

You can own your own home with the help of an FHSA and Empire Life segregated funds.

Empire Life segregated fund contracts can help you get there by offering flexibility and choice in investment options with valuable insurance benefits. Work with your advisor today to find the right investment option to meet your goals.

Find out if an Empire Life First Home Savings Account is right for you.
Speak with your advisor today!
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Whether your life’s goal is building wealth, having income for retirement or protecting your loved ones, Empire Life Guaranteed Investment Fund contracts have the choice and guarantees you need to help meet your financial goals for today and in the future.

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Asset allocation is an investment strategy whose aim is to balance risk and growth, by providing a framework for your investment portfolio that is set against your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon.

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This document reflects the views of Empire Life as of the date published. The information in this document is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as providing legal, tax, financial or professional advice. The Empire Life Insurance Company assumes no responsibility for any reliance on or misuse or omissions of the information contained in this document. Please seek professional advice before making any decisions.

1 Must be a qualifying withdrawal.

2 Must be a qualifying home.

3 For further information concerning FHSAs, please go to https://www.canada.ca and search for “First Home Savings Account”.

4 Conditions apply.

5 19 years old if that is the legal age to enter a contract in your province or territory.

6 You must also be 71 years or younger as of December 31 of the year you open an FHSA.

7 Unlike an RRSP or TFSA, contribution room only starts to accumulate once an FHSA has been opened.

8 Contributions are tax deductible, except transfers in from your RRSP.

9 A maximum of $8,000 can be carried over in a year.

10 HBP withdrawals must be repaid within 15 years, however withdrawals made between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2025 have the repayment period extended by three years. Your repayment period starts the second year after the year when you first made your first withdrawal from your RRSPs under the HBP.

11 Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

12 With the acquisition or construction completion date of the qualifying home before October 1 of the year following the date of the withdrawal.